Spending the day time to explore and admire the stunning and beautiful landscapes and cultural and historical heritage sites in Hanoi, taking your night time to take part in a lot of interesting and exciting activities in the thousand – year – old city called Hanoi Weekend Night Market.
There are many interesting and fascinating things at nightlife waiting for you to experience and discover. Hanoi weekend night market often takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6: pm to 11: pm. It is located in the heart of the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Coming here on these days, you will see a lot of people walking on the streets as on all of vehicles are prohibited from driving on the streets of the old quarter. Especially, you will see so many foreigners and most of them are Westerners who walk on the streets, sitting in the Bia Hoi junction and coffee shops. A very bustling and happy atmosphere at night that you can’t find anywhere.
Not only that, on the Saturday night, you will have a chance to enjoy music performances which are performed on the streets and attract a lot of attention. These performances are performed with the style of folk arts as cheo singing, quan ho, ca tru, xam singing, in order to introduce and promote the culture and tradition of Vietnam to foreigners. Coming here and you will find how interesting and wonderful it is.
There are many things sold along the streets of the old quarter. You will see many street vendors with many types of goods and they will ask you to buy some of them. In addition, you can buy souvenirs, clothing and others in the shops here. And do not miss the chance to taste the special foods and street food when enjoying Weekend Night Market. Making the use to enjoy some of Bia Hoi at Ta Hien Street will be a very fantastic experience.
Last but not least, another way to enjoy weekend night market is just simply sitting alone in some coffee shop and seeing everything happening on the streets and around you. A gentle and peaceful feeling is what you will get at that time.
Let’s once give yourself a chance to find the special thing and feel the bustle and hustle of Hanoi weekend night market. Hanoi always has a lot of things to offer you.
Being the insomniac I am, I woke at 3am at what most would say is a crazy hour to have your eyes open, but I wanted to see a part of the city that doesn’t adhere to a conventional working day.
My friend, Hang and I met at the main Post Office in the Old Quarter and then drove the traffic free and quiet streets to the Long Bien Market. This market is one of the biggest and busiest in Ha Noi. It is called this because it sits under the Long Bien Bridge which has quite a storied history from the war. Long Bien is a cantilever bridge built in 1903 and was heavily bombarded during the American War due to its critical position – the only bridge at that time crossing the Hong (Red) River that connected Ha Noi to the main port, Hai Phong.
I read somewhere that like everything else in Ha Noi, this market is not only busy and chaotic, but also on steroids. If that was true I wanted to experience it, and whoa, I had no idea what I was getting into.
When I drove into the market area, it was obvious I was way out of my league for busy and chaotic experiences.
Even with that said I found myself caught up in the energy and buzz of this place. This was Ha Noi in its most throbbing state. I immediately looked for a place to park as I was quickly being overrun by people on foot and motorbikes. Long Bien Market is a wholesale market and distribution point for probably most of Ha Noi.
Farmers from all around the city head to this area on the Old Quarter side of the bridge carrying their produce on motorbikes and trucks. Some sell to middlemen while others set up their own stalls on the roads surrounding the market.
Men and women alike were loading up their motorbikes while heavy trucks dropped off mountains of produce. The only way to move is to either be aggressive and squeeze through narrow passageways and try to blend in with the traffic or be very agile and step in and out of small openings. I attempted a little of both and came out without getting squashed, yelled at or falling on anyone.
I was fortunate to get off a few good photos just by being aware of my surroundings and what kind of commotion was nearby.
The market is also a popular meeting place for women from the outskirts of Ha Noi, who work as porters in an effort to feed their families. And work is just what they do, carrying heavy baskets balanced on either end of bamboo poles.
The tiny women are deceptively strong and move quickly through the clogged veins of the market place, negotiating their heavy baskets adeptly without stopping for man nor motorbike.
This market is packed to the gunnels with shoppers, motorbikes, trucks, market sellers, containers of every kind of produce, mounds of tied flowers, piles of herbs and spices, cut and quartered animal parts and small piles of plant parts.
A visit to Long Bien Market is probably not on any travel publications’ list of things to do in Ha Noi, but a visit to this chaotic and bustling market is a must in my opinion, but to do so you’ve got to get up while the sun is still sleeping.